How Rock Salt Affects Plants

Sometimes rock salt can wander onto your lawn and even get into the shrubs and other plant life. It can be easy to forget where plants are when there’s thick snow cover, but rock salt can result in dead plants and grass come Spring.

Rock salt is harmful to plants and grass, like those shrubs lining your front walk way, or your prized lawn. The rock salt can land on the plants when you’re clearing snow off to the side of your walkway and on to the plants and grass. When the snow melts the salt works its way down to the ground getting in to the soil.

rock salt damage to plantsOnce in the soil the rock salt will begin to damage the plants, usually through its contact with the roots. The salt can melt into the ground water and will leech vital nutrients and minerals from the soil. This will limit those available to the plants, which are necessary for their survival during the winter months. The salt can also absorb the necessary ground water, causing further damage to the plants.  This is important because many resources to your plants roots are limited due to the ice and snow cover. Precious ground water could get leeched away from your plants and into the salt if the wrong salt is used. If the salt makes contact with the leaves it will damage them with the salt’s chemicals. The plants could be burned, as well as starved leading to dead plants. The downside is that you might not even realize your plants are dying because of the snow and the cold, making it almost impossible to rescue the plants in danger.

It’s important to research how to protect your vegetation from the cold, and theres a number of cautions to take. Make sure you know where the driveway ends and lawn begins using stakes or a map to ensure you keep the edge covered. Cover bushes if they’re close to the walkway and might get salted accidentally. But most importantly make sure you are using an ice melt that is safe for plants and grass


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